Admittedly, I write this review as a newfound Dido fan. Having heard nothing other than the trip-pop singer”s MTV-licious “Thank You,” I was pleasantly surprised by the not only catchy, but often interesting offerings the English, Guildhall School of Music educated, artist performed. Aside from a certain feeling that the songs seemed too much like the recordings, I was very pleased.
Despite sounding a little vocally tired during her encore which included a new song called “Do You Have A Little Time,” and “Don”t Think of Me” from the three million plus selling, No Angel the former Faithless member and her 6-person band played what (to an uneducated Dido listener) seemed to be a very entertaining performance. The set included solo performances by her backup bassist, guitarist, percussionist and accompanying DJ.
The first third of her portion of the concert seemed somewhat laid back and melancholy, including such songs as “All You Want,” “Isobel” and a particularily fascinating performance of “Here With Me.” The set then progressed into a more danceable and livelier mix of songs such as the title cut off of her 2000 album, No Angel and what ended up being a sing-a-long of “Thank You”.
Offering up an eighteen-song set, including three new songs that will be on her upcoming album, Dido did well to entertain what, towards the end, looked like a nearly full house. On her first large scale tour of the states, the former classical music prodigy admirably entertained the crowd en-masse. However, those who came late to the show missed two other great acts.
Emiliana Torrini, an up-and-coming Italian-Icelandic songstress, opened up the night. With a voice somewhere between Bjork and Gwen Stefani, her music sounds like eclectic orchestral-electronica standouts Portishead.
With strong recognition in Europe, Torrini is touring the U.S. with Dido, and later this summer with Tricky to garner support for her 2000 Virgin Records release, Love in The Time of Science.
Scottish neo-brit traditional rock band Travis followed, putting on a long and energetic set, managing to catch the attention of the concert-goers in the still half-full pavilion and crowded lawn areas. They played an hour and a half- long set, angering some fans who specifically came to see Dido.
Interspersed with songs from their new album, the band played nearly all of their second album, The Man Who, in what turned out to be a heavier set than expected. Often adding a decided element of distortion and flat- out rock and roll groove to a set of already catchy tunes, the band not only presented a worthwhile time, but something much more than a stale rendition of their recordings.
Ending the set with a decidedly thick version of the hidden track “Blue Flashing Lights” off of The Man Who, the audience, in appreciation for the set, rewarded the Glasgow quartet with a short standing ovation.